first time posting here, just found this place the other day and what a friendly bunch of people with a great wealth of info :)
Well, here's the scoop. I'm based in WY and am planning a 60-day roadtrip this Summer, beginning in the first week of June. Would prefer to launch a bit sooner, but... well, I can't, lol. Anyway, I'm looking at a 2-day run to the West Coast, followed by the following route:
© Microsoft Streets & Trips
That's roughly 7500 miles. Subtract the initial 2-day / 1,000 mile dash to the coast and a 500 mile run home from Denver, add an extra 1000 miles again for getting off the beaten path and totally lost, hehe... that leaves me with 7000 miles in 57 days, an average of ~122 miles per day. Doesn't sound like a lot, but being into photography I want to ensure ample time to explore the areas and allow for extended stay in places where a single day just doesn't cut it.
My main concern for this trip is where to sleep (safely, lol), and that's where I'm looking for all the advice I can get. I'm a guy traveling solo with quite a bit of photography gear, and am planning to sleep in the car and camp, ideally staying at a hotel/motel every 3-4 nights to regenerate, do laundry, resupply, etc. Because of the trip's duration and the difficulty in planning ahead so far in advance, how concerned should I be with finding a somewhat "spontaneous" (and safe) place to sleep that time of year? I have no problems sleeping in the car, but I don't suppose I can just pull into a rest-stop, shut off the engine, and get a good night's rest without being either fined or robbed, lol. I've read some posts on this topic, including the article on reservations, and while I really don't want to be bound by any kind of schedule whatsoever, I'm somewhat concerned to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere at some point, late at night, with no place to sleep. Then again, I was driving through Joshua Tree NP at the beginning of August last year and to my surprise it was almost completely deserted... so I'm not sure what to expect in terms of overcrowded campgrounds and fully booked motels. Any advice?
With regards to where to go and what to do, does anyone have any cool tips off the beaten path? I love the old, neglected, abandoned stuff... the more beat up, the better. I'm not referring to all the old mining towns around the area, but places more like Rice and Two Guns, AZ. Old abandoned structures and buildings, abandoned cars, etc... modern ruins in general. It's a shame the shoe tree is no longer around, although I guess there's a fence now, lol... also a pity they removed the phone booth in Mojave. Such places often inspire me more than the National Parks. I'm not really interested in things like the "largest ball of twine", but the airplane graveyard in the Mojave would be my cup of tea. Just too bad it's closed to the public... would a stop there even be worth it? Any other such places?
thanks, any input would be much appreciated :)